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Why Do My Dreams Feel So Real?

Dreams can be mysterious and sometimes a little confusing. Have you ever woken up from what felt like a vivid dream only to find yourself in complete disbelief that it was all just part of your imagination?

Ever wonder why some dreams feel so real? In this blog post, we are going to explore why some dreams feel so lifelike and explain our findings on the science behind them.

Brunette woman laying on a velvet cushion on her bed with her eyes closed

Why Do My Dreams Feel So Real? Key Takeaways:

Dreams can feel real because during sleep, your brain replays memories and constructs new experiences based on those memories.

Dreaming also activates parts of the brain that perceive physical sensations, such as touch or smell.

All this activity makes it seem like you’re really going through a dream, even though you know that it isn’t reality.

Plus, other mental states such as stress or exhaustion can make dreams more vivid and life-like.

What Makes Us Dream?

Dreams occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. During this phase, our brains are highly active and creating images for us to remember.

Though we don’t know exactly why dreaming happens, there is evidence that certain neurotransmitters may play a role in how often we dream.

Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and acetylcholine can influence whether we have vivid dreams.

As well, hormones like melatonin and cortisol can affect the length of time spent in REM sleep and thus how much dreaming occurs.

Though some experiences or events will cause a person to dream more than usual, what really makes us dream is still largely unknown.

Some believe that it’s a way for our unconscious minds to sort through memories and information or come up with new solutions to old problems.

Perhaps it’s a form of self-therapy or practice for dealing with daily life challenges – allowing us to rehearse difficult conversations or tackle unwieldy tasks without ever leaving the comfort of our own beds.

It could also be an evolutionary leftover from when humans started walking upright – a defense mechanism against predators while sleeping, to stay alert enough if danger was approaching.

Brunette woman asleep in bed, wearing a white lace night gown with candles in the background

What Are The Different Stages Of Sleep?

Sleep is an essential part of our daily routine and consists of several distinct stages, each important for its own reasons. The first stage of sleep is called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

This stage is when we transition from wakefulness to rest, during which time our heartbeat and breathing slow down and our body temperature slightly decreases. During this stage, we may experience light dreaming.

The second stage of sleep is called rapid eye movement (REM). This occurs approximately 90 minutes after the initial onset of sleep, usually beginning around the third cycle in most adults.

REM is known as the deepest phase of sleep, and during this time your brain waves become much more active than when you are awake.

This increased activity causes increased dreaming due to your heightened state of awareness in dreams compared to NREM stages.

In terms of what happens physiologically during these two different stages, scientists believe that both NREM and REM are essential for various bodily functions such as physical restoration, energy metabolism regulation, hormone release, stress relief, concentration improvement, immune system support and cognitive development.

Finally, a person typically cycles through light NREM and deep NREM sections before transitioning into a REM section multiple times a night, with their last cycle occurring right before they awaken in the morning.

Woman wearing pyjamas laying on her bed, curled up in a ball with her sheet dreaming

What Are The Most Common Dreams?

Dreams are an occurrence that happens for all people throughout their lives. When we fall asleep, our brains enter a different state and the subconscious mind will play out unique scenarios in realistic dreams.

There are many types of dreams – some may be more literal interpretations of events happening in life, others can be abstract and random, or nightmarish dreams that appear to be terrifying reality but end as soon as you wake up. But what do these dreams mean?

Some believe that dreaming is a way for your brain to process and store information during sleep cycles throughout the night.

Your brain is interpreting external stimuli while you sleep, so sometimes the dreams bring intense emotions, just like if they were real experiences.

People dream anywhere from three to six times per night, but usually don’t remember them due to interruptions in sleep patterns caused by waking up too early or being disturbed during deep sleep phases.

The most common type of dream are those which involve fears and worries – these can range from scaredy-cat nightmares to anxiety-based stress dreams where one doesn’t feel safe in any situation ever presented.

Most psychologists believe this type of dreaming originates from parts of your brain associated with emotions such as happiness, sadness and fear, which help give meaning and context to our everyday lives.

Blonde haired woman sleeping in her bed with white bedding, and her quilt all bunched up

Why Do My Dreams Feel So Real?

Dreams that feel real are truly a fascinating experience. Have you ever had dreams that feel so real that when you woke up, it felt like a dream within a dream?

It’s an incredible feeling and one worth considering. Simply put, dreams that feel real occur when our brain activity is heightened during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) part of our sleep cycle.

During this stage of sleep, increased blood flow to the visual cortex in the back of your brain increases activity, giving us more vivid and realistic-seeming dreams than normal.

Frequent vivid dreams can be caused by several factors, such as low blood sugar or other medical conditions like sleep deprivation.

They could also be trying to tell you something on a subconscious level – often interpreted through metaphors in your dreams.

For example, if someone has frequent nightmares of falling off a cliff, then it could be representing an inner fear or unresolved issue in their life – such as anxiety surrounding an upcoming event or decision they need to make.

Our brains process all sorts of sensory information while we’re dreaming and create entire worlds filled with fantastic creatures and impossible scenarios from it – but why do these dreams still feel so real?

Partly because our brains create realistic sensations for us to interact within this imaginary world, such as touch or sound.

Partly because strong emotions created during the dream directly stimulate our limbic system, which is responsible for processing emotion and feeling.

This is why many people who have experienced lucid dreaming often report feeling completely immersed within their dream environment!

So, why do my dreams sometimes feel so incredibly real? It comes down to how intensely stimulated parts of the brain become during REM sleep.

Coupled with the powerful emotions we’re experiencing within them at the same time – creating an illusion that feels more life-like than reality itself!

What Causes Vivid Dreams?

Dreams can often feel so real that we struggle to differentiate between our dreams and reality. So, what does it mean when your dreams feel real? Is there an explanation behind why our dreams feel this way? In short, yes!

Thanks to science, researchers have found that intense dreaming is likely to occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

During this stage of sleep, the body is in a state of paralysis while the brain is still active and creates vivid stories or images in your dream. This heightened state of alertness as we sleep causes us to remember our dreams better than non-REM sleep cycles.

While there are many theories on why some people experience vivid or weird dreams more than others, one such theory proposes that individuals with higher stress or anxiety levels may be prone to vivid dreaming due to increased neural activity during REM sleep.

It has been shown that age also plays a role in how intense our dream experiences can be – studies suggest that younger adults tend to have more dream recall and “real” dream experiences than their older counterparts.

Another factor could be your sleeping cycle – those who naturally wake up several times throughout the night may recall more vivid dreams simply because they get stuck within different stages of the REM cycle for longer periods of time compared to those who experience undisturbed nights of restorative sleep without any involuntary awakenings.

It’s important for us all to understand what causes these “real” dreams, so we can make sure we get enough quality rest every single night.

When it comes down to it, though, understanding exactly why our brains produce these ‘real’ moments while asleep may never truly be known, but at least now you understand what might cause them and how they differ from regular everyday dreaming.

Brunette haired woman wearing white and pink pyjamas curled up on her bed hugging her pillow

How To Make My Dreams So Realistic?

Making your dreams as realistic as possible is a great way to make the most of them. It can help you get closer to understanding yourself, explore new ideas and directions, and identify potential opportunities.

To achieve this, it is important to remember the details and pay attention to even the smallest elements in the dream.

Consider how real things look, sound, feel and smell; put yourself into the dream fully as though it were happening right now.

Some experts believe that feeling stressed or anxious while dreaming helps make your dreams feel extremely realistic.

Allowing yourself to be open with your emotions allows sensations and symbols in your dreams to take on a more meaningful role and allow deeper interpretations of the messages being brought forth in them.

This allows for a richer experience that can have profound impacts on those who remember their dreams.

Most importantly, remember that even if you have a bad dream, there are still lessons or messages from our subconscious mind coming through.

So instead of trying not to think about it anymore, just try looking at it from another perspective and analyzing what other possibilities could this mean.

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